The most attention Dennis Rodman gets is probably his body of work in the NBA. That’s not bad for a man who started his career as a rebound-challenged, rebounding machine. But it’s his off-the-court antics that seem to get the most attention from the media. A recent example was the press conference in Beijing where Rodman announced he would be playing for the Chinese Basketball Association, a move widely seen as a publicity stunt to get back in Phil Jackson’s good graces.
As the NBA playoffs continue, we thought it would be interesting to look at some of the oddest pregame rituals. We all have our superstitions and rituals based on the teams we play for, whether that be wearing a certain hat when you play or eating a certain food before the game. But some of these rituals and superstitions are strange and unique.Whether you’re a huge basketball fan or have never seen an NBA game in your life, almost everyone knows Dennis Rodman. In his time at the club, the striker has not shied away from making headlines with some unconventional decisions. This behavior seemed to go beyond the audience. As a member of the Chicago Bulls team, for example, Rodman prepared for games in a very specific way. While virtually every player follows their own routine, Worm was given special permission by Phil Jackson to bend the rules before the game began.
Dennis Rodman had no problem doing things his way
. Although it has been more than 20 years since Rodman last set foot in an NBA arena, the attacker still holds an important place in basketball history. This is partly due to his performance on the field, but his unique choices also play a big part in this equation. During his time with the Detroit Pistons, Rodman had suicidal thoughts. Although announcer Craig Sager intervened in time to save the attacker’s life, Worm decided not to throw any more punches in the future. From that day on, he became nonchalant. When he joined the San Antonio Spurs, Rodman began dyeing his hair; over the years, he has worn designs ranging from a smiley face to a leopard print. The attacker also had several piercings, showed off numerous tattoos and wore a wedding dress on one famous occasion. Worms choices aren’t limited to his fashion sense, though. Rodman also had a nasty habit of crossing the line and getting into trouble. In one case, for example, he was heavily fined for a vulgar comment about Mormons while in Utah; in another, he kicked a cameraman and ended up having to pay heavy damages.
Vanguard has special permission from Phil Jackson to do his own game routine
Dennis Rodman waits to check in for the game as he plays for the Chicago Bulls. | Jeff Haynes/AFP via Getty Images Rodman’s unique choices, however, were not limited to the audience. Even in the locker room, the most private refuge in professional sports, he did things his way. Take, for example, the way he prepared for the match. While almost all athletes are creatures of habit and follow their personal routines, Rodman has gone a step further than most. The rules [for the team] remained the same, but there were some differences in terms of Dennis, Phil Jackson told Sam Smith for an article on NBA.com in 2011. He couldn’t be at the game an hour and a half before kickoff [which is required of all players]. The tension surrounding the game was too much for him. It didn’t fire. I had him come in an hour before the game and set up a penalty box for him [giving Rodman penalties every game]. Worm still needed the extra rope, though. Not only was he late and avoiding practice, he was doing his own thing in the locker room. He was looking for a place to practice [alone] before the game, Jackson continued. Thirty minutes before the end of the game, we got together [with the players]. He came in, showered, and sat naked with a towel over his head next to his locker. At all the presentations, when he watched the [recognition] video, he had a towel over his head. It was hard for him to pay attention. He had to work out, lift weights, shower. He had a very particular attitude leading up to the game.
Whatever Phil Jackson and Dennis Rodman did, it worked
. To basketball purists, Jackson’s condescending attitude toward Rodman may seem like a mistake. Conventional wisdom says that teams need rules and everyone, regardless of status, needs to follow those rules. Whatever Zen Master and Worm decided, it seemed to work. Although Rodman and Jackson appear to be very different people, they found common ground through their high regard for Native American culture. The coach called his striker a hayok – a man who walks backwards – and a strong relationship developed between the two. From a basketball perspective, this bond has paid off. Rodman proved to be a key part of the Bulls’ second three-game championship, doing the dirty work that allowed Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan to shine. The success also earned the forward a spot in the Basketball Hall of Fame, where he was introduced on stage by none other than Jackson. Good or bad, Rodman played by his own rules. Jackson recognized this and found a way to work with his unique striker. This is where the history of basketball began. How to get help: In the United States, call the National Office of Suicide Prevention at 1-800-273-8255. Or text HOME to 741-741 to contact a trained crisis counselor through the toll-free text line. RELATED TO: Dennis Rodman’s son heard about his father’s wild Vegas vacation from Last Dance